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WCPI Annual Report
Dear Friends of WCPI:

This year, WCPI continued its mission to bring together a community of bipartisan women policymakers and trusted partners, develop the next generation of women leaders, and foster a more effective and representative democracy. We could not have done it without you!

Like so many others, we transitioned to remote work by hosting virtual congressional briefings and events, supporting our WCPI Fellows and interns, and building new partnerships to promote an inclusive and representative democracy.

Looking ahead to 2021, we prepare to welcome the new leadership of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, a record number of women elected to serve in Congress, and a new class of WCPI Fellows. We invite you to join us on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, for our first-ever virtual gala. We also hope you will stay tuned for upcoming congressional briefings and events, as well as other resources on topics important to women and girls, by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued generosity and support, and best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season and 2021!


Cindy Hall
WCPI Events
Bipartisan Women Leaders Address Global Maternal Mortality
Beginning in July, we hosted a three-part virtual briefing series on global maternal mortality and the impact of COVID-19. We brought together speakers from Afghanistan and West Africa, representatives from government, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, and the corporate sector, to discuss the challenges and opportunities that have emerged during the pandemic, and to offer policymakers key lessons learned in recent months.

We appreciate the leadership of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Congresswomen Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI) and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Co-Chairs, and Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Vice Chairs, in this effort. We also thank our esteemed briefing partners: CARE, Jhpiego, World Vision, Save the Children, March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck for Mothers. Please visit our website for more information about this important series.
NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health Turns 30
In September, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH). This virtual briefing brought together many of the architects of the legislation that created ORWH, including women Senators, Members of Congress, federal officials, and advocacy groups, and traced its history and impact on women’s health over the past 30 years.

Congresswomen Brenda L. Lawrence, Co-Chair, Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Nita Lowey, Rosa DeLauro, and Debbie Dingell, former Senators Barbara Mikulski and Olympia Snowe, and former Congresswomen Connie Morella and Pat Schroeder participated in the celebration.

Drs. Janine Clayton, the Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and the Director of ORWH, and Vivian Pinn, the first full-time Director of ORWH and current Senior Scientist Emerita at the Fogarty International Center at NIH, spoke, sharing ORWH’s history and current work.
WCPI Annual Gala
WCPI commemorated our 25th anniversary at the 2020 Annual Congressional Gala. We celebrated current and former women Members of Congress at the event, which also was attended by federal agency officials, corporate and labor supporters, senior congressional staff, and members of the women’s advocacy community.

The audience heard from Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the leadership of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues: Congresswomen Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI) and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Co-Chairs, Vice-Chair Madeleine Dean (D-PA), and a number of other women Members.

We recognized WCPI’s founding Board Members: Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), former Co-Chair of the Women's Caucus; Ambassador, former Member of Congress, and WCPI Board Vice Chair Connie Morella; and Marjorie Sims. We also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Congressional Fellowships on Women and Public Policy, which WCPI has sponsored since the end of 2013.

Thanks to all of the attendees and sponsors of this year’s gala. Your continued support made this special celebration an evening to remember. Click here to see photos from the event!
Eighth Annual STEAM Fair Goes Virtual
For the first time in its history, we hosted our annual STEAM Fair virtually to reach girls from across the country. In this new format, we brought together public and private sector partners to showcase their efforts to increase the number of girls and women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math).

Congresswomen Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) participated in the event. Special thanks to Qualcomm as our signature sponsor of the STEAM Fair, and its support for WCPI and women and girls in STEAM!
Women’s Leadership
Congressional Fellowships Help Shape Public Policy amid the Pandemic
After beginning their fellowships in-person in their respective offices, the 2020 Class of Fellows transitioned to remote work. In spite of the challenges, Adriianna Lagorio, Sarah Kington, and Suhasini Ravi left their mark on a wide range of policy issues, including employment benefits, pandemic relief, and food insecurity, among other issues. We are grateful to Congresswomen Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), respectively, for hosting this year’s WCPI Fellows.

In September, we sponsored a virtual reception celebrating the fellows’ achievements. We welcomed their families, friends, and former fellows who heard the fellows share their experiences and remarks from Congresswomen Herrera Beutler and Moore, and Senior Policy Advisor to Speaker Pelosi Patti Ross.
Our special thanks to our fellowship sponsors, including the PepsiCo Foundation, Amgen, the Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, the Kahn Foundation, and a number of individual donors for their support of the Class of 2020. Howard Moon from Amgen and Anna Mahoney from Newcomb College Institute also spoke briefly at the event, and Kenny Thompson from PepsiCo introduced the fellows at our 2020 gala.

We look forward to welcoming our Class of 2021 Fellows: Marshele Bryant, Daniela Ondraskova, and Jamie Thompson to the Fellowship sisterhood in January, and launching the 2022 application cycle in the spring.

Click here to learn more about the WCPI Fellows Program.
Internship Program Continues to Train Women Leaders
As part of our mission to develop the next generation of women leaders in public policy, WCPI was proud to continue its paid internship, but virtually. This fall, we hosted Kailyn Smith, a senior at Howard University. In addition to writing and publishing our Weekly Legislative Update, Kailyn’s research on women congressional candidates became the basis of our Election Wrap-Up.

Our spring intern, Libra Dolce, a recent graduate of the State University of NY at Albany, began her internship in-person and transitioned successfully to remote work in mid-March. Libra also published our Weekly Legislative Update and helped with our Congressional Gala. This month, Libra will travel to Taiwan to teach English as a Fulbright Scholar. We are grateful to Kailyn and Libra for their hard work this year!

Click here to learn more about the Internship Program.
Congressional Women Chiefs of Staff Program
WCPI hosted monthly virtual meetings as part of its Women Chiefs of Staff “Joint Session” program. Administered in partnership with Democracy Fund, the program fosters bicameral personal relationships across party lines, builds a support network for women chiefs of staff, committee staff directors, and senior leadership staff, and develops bipartisan women’s leadership.

This year’s programs have focused on expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in congressional offices, adapting to the “new normal” during the pandemic, and supporting work-life balance. We are looking forward to continuing this program to support these women leaders in Congress.
Women Members
A Trailblazer Retires from Congress
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) was sworn into Congress in January 1989. During her 16 terms of service, she blazed a path for women’s leadership, becoming the first woman to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee.

Congresswoman Lowey has a long relationship with WCPI. In 1995, along with former Congresswoman Connie Morella (R-MD), she became a founding Board Member of our organization. She also served as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Women’s Caucus during the 104th Congress.

We are proud to celebrate her legacy as she retires at the end of the year, and to call her a friend of WCPI. Thank you, Congresswoman Lowey, for all you have done on behalf of women everywhere!
WCPI Recognizes Retiring Women’s Caucus Members
Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN-5) also is retiring from Congress at the end of the year. First elected to Congress in 2012, Congresswoman Brooks served four terms, during which she chaired the House Ethics Committee and served as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Women’s Caucus in the 115th Congress.
Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA-53) was sworn into Congress in 2001 and served ten terms. During her tenure, she served as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, and was active in the Women’s Caucus, co-chairing the Women in the Military Task Force for several Congresses.
Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-AL-2) was sworn into Congress in 2011 and served five terms. She is a member of the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees and has been a champion of women veterans and women in the military.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) served four terms in Congress after being sworn-in in 2013. She is a member of the Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. After serving two tours of duty in the Middle East, she continued her military service in the Army National Guard.
Thank you to these Members of Congress for being true champions of women!
Representative Democracy
WCPI Partners in Effort to Foster a More Diverse and Inclusive Congress
Representative Democracy was launched in September as a coalition of organizations that “recognize [that] diversity strengthens our institutions of government….” WCPI is proud to be a founding member of Representative Democracy and to partner with the member organizations to help promote a more effective and representative democracy.

We are committed to increasing the number of diverse staff and building inclusive workplaces on Capitol Hill. Through our focus in congressional briefings on underrepresented communities, and our efforts to develop the next generation of women leaders through the longstanding WCPI Fellowship, internship, women chiefs of staff Joint Session,” and Take Our Daughters to Congress programs, we continue to shine a spotlight on, and work to advance, the important issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Commemorating Women’s Suffrage
This spring, we launched an interactive webpage to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, complete with videos and resources to acknowledge this historic milestone. Please visit our website for more information!
Election 2020
In the same year that we celebrated the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we witnessed a record number of women running for, and being elected to, Congress. A record number of at least 146 women will serve in the 117th Congress, including 122 women in the House of Representatives and 24 women in the Senate. In a historic first, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will become the first woman, African American, and South Asian person to serve as Vice President of the United States and, thus, as President of the Senate.

We profiled the newly elected women and the outcome of this historic election. Be sure to check out our Election Wrap-Up and 2020 Election social media. Congratulations to the women of the 117th Congress!
Who’s Who at WCPI
Meet WCPI’s Board of Directors
Anna Schneider
Amb. Connie Morella
Vice Chair
Kenny D. Thompson, Jr.
LaQuita Honeysucker
Amy Plaster
Julia-Feliz Sessoms
Stacey D. Stewart
Cindy Hall
Ex Officio
Meet the WCPI Staff
Emma Berlage
Development Associate
Olivia Carvajal
Executive Assistant to the President
Libra Dolce
Spring Intern, State University of NY at Albany
Cindy Hall
Julia O’Connor
Senior Communications Associate
Cynthia Ramos
Policy Director
Kailyn Smith
Fall Intern, Howard University
Cheryl Williams
Vice President
Thanks to Our Partners!
We are grateful for the longtime support of our foundation partners: Democracy Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Kahn Education Foundation, Qualcomm Foundation, and the PG&E Foundation.

We also thank our corporate, labor, federal, and individual sponsors for supporting this year’s Fellowship Program, Annual Gala, and STEAM Fair. We look forward to working with these partners again in 2021!
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